Pyongyang blames US and South Korea for Kim Jong Nam murder

North Korea's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kim In Ryong, speaking during a press conference at the United Nations on March 13, 2017.
North Korea's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kim In Ryong, speaking during a press conference at the United Nations on March 13, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS (BERNAMA) - North Korea's Permanent Representative to the United Nations has denied that the man assassinated in Malaysia was the half-brother of leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim In Ryong also told the media on Monday (March 13) that the United States and South Korea should be blamed for the killing.

He said the case of the assassination "is the product of reckless moves of the United States and South Korean authorities aimed to... tarnish the image of the dignified DPRK and to bring down the Socialist system". North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Kim spoke in response to a question on the assassination during a news conference he had called to condemn a recent UN Security Council statement denouncing recent DPRK ballistic missile launches as a threat to international peace and security.

However, he acknowledged that the victim, who was poisoned to death at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb 13 by two assailants, was a citizen from North Korea who had a diplomatic passport.

"The United States and the South Korean authority are groundlessly blaming the DPRK, asserting that he was intoxicated by a highly poisonous VX nerve substance," Kim said, referring to the victim who has been identified by Malaysian authorities as the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un.

The ambassador said Washington wanted to "store up international repugnancy towards the DPRK ... to provoke nuclear war against the DPRK at any cost".

He also raised the question as to where the assailants were able to obtain such a banned chemical weapon as VX, pointing out the United States has "a stockpile" of such outlawed weapons.